Saturday, 07 December, 2019

5 dead, 3 hospitalized after fire at Minneapolis high-rise

Minneapolis firefighters leave after a deadly fire at a high-rise apartment building in background Wednesday Minneapolis firefighters leave after a deadly fire at a high-rise apartment building in background Wednesday
Travis Berry | 29 November, 2019, 00:47

Five people are dead following a fire at a high-rise apartment in Minneapolis on Wednesday morning.

Broken windows and damage remain after a deadly fire at the high-rise apartment building Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Minneapolis. Smoke was reported on the 15th, 16th, and 17th floors shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Minneapolis Fire said the agency continues to investigate the cause of the fire. A firefighter was treated for an exertion-related injury. One resident on the 21st floor of the 24-floor building resisted being evacuated.

It was a "very tragic night at the beginning of the holiday weekend", said John Fruetel, chief for Minneapolis Fire in a press conference streamed on local news channel KSTP, an ABC affiliate.

Horwich said the 1960s-era building has "no history in terms of safety issues to speak of, that I know". Most of the people who live alone or with one roommate, according to Jeff Horwich, communications director for the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, which owns the building.

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Minneapolis firefighters leave after a deadly fire at a high-rise apartment building, center in background on November 27, 2019, in Minneapolis.

MPHA Interim Executive Dirctor Tracey Scott said fewer than nine households will be displaced due to the fire.

Fire officials didn't immediately identify the victims.

City officials said public housing inspections are handled by federal agencies, and that the city inspected the building only to respond to specific complaints. The most recent, in 2016, was for failure to clean exhaust hoods "contaminated by grease-laden vapours" every six months; the inspector's report said the last record of maintenance was four years earlier. The data doesn't say what the score means or provide any details.

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